Arena Pharma's Weight-Loss Pill Has Few Fans in Japan
SAN DIEGO (TheStreet) -- Japanese stock analysts are not hot for Arena Pharmaceuticals'(ARNA) newly approved weight-loss pill Belviq.
Eisai, the Japanese drug maker, is in charge of selling Belviq in the U.S. under terms of its partnership agreement with Arena. This is why the Japanese sell-side community is weighing in on Belviq's commercial prospects. Like their U.S. counterparts, Japanese analysts are skeptical that Belviq will become the blockbuster weight-loss pill envisioned by Arena and its shareholders.
Here's what J.P. Morgan's Masayuki Onozuka told clients soon after Belviq was approved:
"Commercial success hinges on stronger marketing: We expect only a limited profit contribution from lorcaserin
Morgan Stanley MUFG analyst Mayo Mita wasn't any more effusive in her assessment of Belviq:
"For the treatment of obesity, Belviq competes with Vivus'(VVUS) Qnexa and Orexigen(OREX) /Takeda's Contrave. Of these three drugs, Qnexa has the highest efficacy but relatively high incidence of side effects. Belviq has the lowest efficacy, while Contrave achieves a balance between efficacy and side effects in our view… While not yet incorporated in our earnings models, assuming peak sales of $200-500mn
Credit Suisse's Fumiyoshi Sakal: